Lee Butler, Vue Weekly writes:
Edmonton indie-rockers Hewson Grey had a solid year. The release of their debut EP Montes et Mare has led to several shows in the city and the promise of a full-length release.
Their upcoming Bohemia show was meant to be a celebration of how far they’ve come, but has been dampened by the passing of their Sometimes Music label-head, Steve Steffler.
“On a personal level, it’s still sinking in. When we started out with our first band, Steve gave us a show [at Bohemia],” says vocalist/guitarist Stuart Bobbin.
“You always hear it in these situations—‘oh, he was such a nice guy,’ and things like that, but Steve was genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” Bobbin says. “He always put others first to the point where it was almost to his detriment. He wasn’t running anything for money. He was there for the bands he liked and because he wanted to get the music out there. We’ll always be grateful.”
Proceeds from their upcoming Bohemia show will be directed to Steffler’s family. Although there is a somber feeling reverberating through the band, the quartet continues to push on.
Hewson Grey are continuing to promote their five-song debut Montes et Mare, which was released this past September. The EP is a spatial journey—filled with sonically pleasing guitar and lyrical harmonies from co-vocalists Bobbin and Joe Paonessa. Bassist Caleb Bradley compliments the duo with jazz-inspired bass stylings, and percussionist Ryan Crampton adds a “Keith Moon” flare with his drumming.
Songs like “Dancing In The Rain” showcase Bobbin and Paonessa’s song-writing craft in action. Paonessa wrote the initial chord and vocal melodies and Bobbin put the finishing touches on the track.
Hewson Grey enjoy jamming out the songs during live performances, with longer intros and explorative elements added.
“The other songs that we didn’t choose for this EP were still kind of being molded and crafted,” says co-vocalist and guitarist Paonessa. “There are the moments live when you say, ‘OK that’s got to go in the song now.’ You also want to save those moments. We want to make sure there are things that happen only in that show, on that one night.”
The band had finished recording Montes et Mare in March of 2015, but started working on the drum sounds in January. Bobbin describes taking great care in the album’s drum production.
“We basically just went in and tracked drums first of all in Ryan’s basement,” he says. “We took a long time trying to get a drum sound that we liked. The cymbols and drums, we spent a lot of time on, and everything else was done in Joe’s basement.” Bobbin says.
And 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for the quartet. With more than enough songs in the bank for a full-length album, the hardest part will be narrowing down what will ultimately make it on the album.
“What we kind of want to do is have 30-songs set and whittle it down. We want a full-length to be a 40-42 minute length to fit on a vinyl. It’ll be eight or nine songs and we want to start recording in the spring,” says Bobbin
Hewson Grey is aiming for a September release for their first full-length album, but realistically they hope to have it released in November or December of 2017.
Fri., Dec. 2 (8pm)
Bohemia, $10 at the door
1101 Hewson Grey